I highly doubt that the Germans or Mikhail Kalashnikov ever called it an "assault rifle".
When the Germans developed what was originally called the MP-44, they pretended it was a submachine gun because Hitler had prohibited the development of new rifles. When it got out that it was actually a rifle and not a submachine gun, Hitler was so impressed by it, that he christened it the Sturmgewehr
, or the assault rifle. It is now mostly referred to as the Stg-44.
While it looks like an AK-47, Kalashnikov did not base it on the Stg-44. He was already designed what became the AK-47 before the Germans fielded the Stg-44. The Soviets used the Stg-44 as the basis for the SKS.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 11:13:09 PM by Atomic Cow »
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them." H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914
"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton